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  • introduction



    6 replies

    Hello, my name is Robert and my wife Beth have been married for 28 years. My wife Beth is 48 and I am 60.

    Last December my wife through an operation for bowel cancer. In January, she started chemotherapy. After 5 sessions Beth took a reaction to the infusion and so they stopped them, however she was able to carry on with the oral drugs. At this stage we were coping with this reasonably well until we were told that it had returned. Beth was started on a different lot of drugs, unfortunately she was admitted to our local cancer unit to get her pain under control, which they did only to be followed by 5 days of diarrhea and losing blood. Further investigations were carried out and we were told that she has colitis. At this moment in time we are waiting for the results of biopsies coming back from Pathology to tell us what kind of colitis that she has.

    The past 28 years of our marriage, Beth has spoiled me and I am going to have to try and learn a whole lot of new skills.

    I have just come to the end of my two week October holiday. Fortunately, I have had the good sense to talk to my GP and she has signed of work for another two weeks. I feel that I can not go back to my work until I see my wife at home and settled, however I still don't feel that I would be able to leave my wife at home on her own.

    This is like a nightmare and I expect to wake up from it and find out that that was what it was. I am still waiting to wake up!!

    We have both worked hard all our lives and will accept any help however small gratefully.

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  • Support

    Hi Robert,

    I’m very sorry to hear about Beth’s illness and that she’s been struggling with her treatments, but it’s good to hear your GP is being supportive. There is help out there for you when Beth is discharged, for instance you can ask the GP or adult social services to carry out a care assessment for both Beth and your needs. There is lots more information on our website on everything from the practical aspects of looking after someone, to employment and financial matters, to coping with your own feelings.

    It’s completely normal to feel like life is on an emotional roller coaster at the moment, and many people find that talking to somebody can help. If you would like to talk a bit more about the options that are out there, you can speak to us on the Marie Curie Support Line (0800 090 2309, Mon-Fri 9.00am-17.00pm).


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  • speaker01

    It is coming up for two months since I last spoke on this website. After being in the local cancer unit for 9 weeks my wife was discharged and has been home for three weeks now. It has been great to be able to look after her this far and hope that I will be able to do this for some time. My wife was able to walk into the cancer unit but had to come out in a wheelchair. I have had to call out our local Marie Curie nurses a few times in the short time that Beth has been home. The service that they provide is absolutely brilliant. It is great to hear a friendly voice when you need it.

    My wifes bowel cancer is aggressive and she is not strong enough to resume chemotherapy and although nobody is saying anything, I am trying to prepare myself for the worst. I don't know who I am trying to kid because I know when it does happen I will fall to pieces. She cant even write out Christmas cards or wrap up presents. I've written some cards and my daughter and our sons girlfriend have wrapped Beths presents for her. I just have my own to do.

    Beth spends a lot of her time in her chair sleeping even more so when she has an infection like she has now. Even speech is a great effort for her just now. Tears run down my face everytime that I look at my wife or as I walk about the house and see some of her stuff.

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  • Support


    Hi Robert,

    Thanks for letting us know how Beth is doing.  The Christmas period is particularly poignant if a partner or loved one is fighting against cancer or any terminal illness. We recognise this and I wanted to let you know that the Support Line is going to open from 9am to 5pm  every day over the Christmas period so if you need somebody to talk to we are here for you or any of your family and friends.  It is important to take each day as it comes and to try to make the most of the times that Beth is awake and alert.  

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  • speaker01

    After year long battle with bowel cancer my dear wife died at 11.30 Christmas morning. I am totally devastated.

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  • gavint67


    We are really sorry to hear your sad news about Beth.  If you'd like to talk to us the Support Line is open 9am to 5pm each day over the Christmas period.


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